In a world where, for health reasons, we’re advised to keep a one-to-two-meter distance from others, a lot of office buildings around the world need to be adapted. The team at EDGE spent March – July 2020 both reflecting and learning to create a work environment that exceeds even new standards.
EDGE is a company that takes its employee experience seriously. They understand that the space an employee works in impacts the work that they complete and can both aid and disrupt their ability to work productively.
The company’s original headquarters in Amsterdam was coined ‘the smartest building ever constructed’ holding this position firmly for many years, while others caught up. The company’s new HQ, EDGE Olympic, was opened in 2018 is the healthiest building in the Netherlands, and has a Leesman+ accreditation, scoring an Lmi of 81.7. Respondents agreed almost unanimously that the building is a place that they are proud to bring visitors to (97.8%) as well as somewhere that positively impacts the organisation’s culture (96.7%). So, as the world went into lockdown in March 2020 and EDGE’s workforce began working from home, it was almost a sure thing that employees would miss their high performing and supportive office-based environment.
EDGE Olympic achieved an overall H-Lmi score of 62.7, after deploying the Leesman home working experience assessment in April 2020, showing a huge gap between employees’ home and office-based experience.
Direct comparisons can be made between the two environments, but what is immediately apparent is that EDGE’s employees longed for social connection during the first half of 2020. Interestingly, EDGE’s overall H-Lmi is lower that Leesman’s wider home working experience benchmark [at the time of assessment] of 73.6 – further cementing the disparity between the optimal environment of EDGE’s workplaces and employees’ homes.
The property team worked extensively to ensure its buildings were safe environments for employees to return to, after lockdown, and Leesman data has shown that the younger generation (below 34 years of age) were likely keener to return first, reporting the lowest home experience scores overall. Those who have worked more than 18 months at the organisation appear to be more entwined with EDGE’s culture and processes, reporting higher scores relating to connectivity to colleagues and the organisation itself.
It’s obvious from the data that, during the time employees were working from home, the technological aspects of work experience held up well, indicating that EDGE’s core team successfully aided their workforce with the move to temporary home working, supporting them with the equipment they required, enabling them to continue their work. 89% of respondents felt they had access to all the IT devices and tools they needed and all the software applications/programs needed.